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Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the ‘I Believe Initiative’ will be working collaboratively to address mental health issues affecting youth.

Such support, he said, will better enable individuals to realise their full potential, cope with stress, work productively and make a meaningful contribution to communities.

“Youth who are battling mental health crises cannot be empowered to realise their God-given potential and contribute meaningfully to national development, hence what we are doing today,” the Governor-General pointed out.

He was speaking at the 2018 National Youth Consultative Conference on ‘Mental Health Among Youth held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego Bay, St. James on Thursday (October 25).

The Governor-General is imploring persons to seek help once there are signs of mental health issues.

“If you or someone in your home, your community and your school has mental health challenges, go to your guidance counsellor, pastor, your community mental health nurse or a responsible adult whom you can trust, and share the problem and get help,” he advised.

The Governor-General noted that having a positive sense of self is critical in enabling persons to tackle challenges they are faced with daily, which may threaten their mental health.

“Young people, I am here to tell you that no matter how many ‘likes’ you get on Facebook or Instagram, whether it is a thousand or a million, or how many persons watch your snaps, you must love and appreciate and believe in your thoughts and abilities,” he said.

The National Youth Consultative Conference, which is in its 7th staging, is a component of the I Believe Initiative that aims to encourage all Jamaicans to develop a sense of self-assurance and national pride.

The values-based programme is founded on the concept that there is nothing wrong in Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.

It embodies the ideal of a Jamaica in which individuals are inspired to believe in and actualise their full potential, as well as contribute to the building of a prosperous, progressive and peaceful nation.